Lincoln News

Lincoln University Is Named HBCU Institutional Leader By Fulbright Program

Drs. Babatunde, Gbolahade and Maazaoui
Drs. Babatunde, Gbolahade, the 2019-2020 Scholar in Residence, and Maazaoui. Terrance Young/Staff Photo

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, Pa. — Lincoln University is proud to be named a 2018-2019 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader. Beginning this year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is recognizing the noteworthy level of engagement that selected Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have achieved with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program.

Through this inaugural “Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leader” designation, ECA recognizes Lincoln University and 18 other HBCUs that have demonstrated noteworthy support for Fulbright exchange participants during the 2018-2019 academic year and have promoted Fulbright Program opportunities on campus.

“This honor recognizes the tangible ways that Lincoln University continues to connect students to people and cultures from around the world, and serves as a testament to Lincoln’s legacy of international engagement,” says Dr. Dafina Blacksher Diabate, director of the Office of International Programs. “It is exciting to be identified as a leader as we continue to prepare students to thrive in a globally connected world.”

During the past academic year, there were four Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants (LTAs)on campus and one Fulbright Scholar in Residence. Continuing Lincoln’s strong embrace of the Fulbright Program, during this academic year there are four Fulbright Language Teaching Assistants who, respectively, are teaching Arabic, Japanese, Spanish and French; and one Fulbright Scholar in Residence, Dr. Gbolagade Jonathan, a fungi researcher from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, is working currently with faculty and Lincoln university students on mushroom production.

In addition, Dr. Nicole Files-Thompson, associate professor of communication and chair of Lincoln’s   Department of Mass Communication, is a recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award. For two semesters this year, she is teaching and conducting research in intercultural communication and tourism studies in Jamaica at the University of the West Indies Mona and Western Jamaica campuses.

fulbright-badge.jpgLincoln University has a long history with the Fulbright Program. Dr. Abbes Maazaoui, professor in the Department of Languages & Literature, has helped bring four or five Fulbright LTAs to Lincoln since his arrival at the university 27 years ago. Their native countries have included: Algeria, Argentina, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Honduras, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Peru, Spain, Tunisia, and Venezuela.

"While here in the United States, they function as cultural ambassadors for their country of origin,” says Maazaoui, "but they also serve as cultural ambassadors for the United States in their own countries, thus building bridges for international understanding and cooperation."

"These professionals interact with our students on a daily basis. As instructors, they help our students achieve student learning outcomes. As students, they take classes with our students. Outside of the classroom, they participate in numerous extracurricular activities, and use the same facilities as our students."

“In the process, they help students increase their language skills as well as their cultural awareness. This integration of FLTAS at all levels of student life is a living example of campus internationalization in action.”

Professor Emmanuel Babatunde, the chair of sociology and criminal justice, is also the Fulbright Scholar In Residence faculty representative. For the past four years, his proposals have brought Dr. Jonathan and three other internationally renowned scholars to work with Lincoln faculty and students, including:

  • Dr. Philip Adetiloye, a soil scientist from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State of Nigeria, who also worked with the University of Delaware in 2016-17.
  • Dr. Euclides Gonzalez, a Mozambique anthropologist From Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique in 2017-2018.
  • Dr. Kayode Oguntuashe, a psychologist, The University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2018-2019.

Fulbright offers graduating seniors the opportunity to participate in the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Lincoln University graduating seniors who are interested in applying for the Fulbright U.S. Student Program are encouraged to work with the Office of International Programs and the Center for Undergraduate Research for help preparing their application for 2020-2021 cycle.

For more information about the Fulbright Program, visit or contact Dr. Dafina Blacksher Diabate at

--Terrance J. Young, M.Div.